Reuters reports that Sumo Group announced that Tencent had agreed to offer undertakings in order to gain approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). This is to ensure the sale would not be a threat to national security. In July of this year, Tencent offered $1.26 billion USD to increase its shares.
Sumo Digital was founded in 2003, and are best known for the later LittleBigPlanet video games on PlayStation. The developer also ported OutRun 2 to Xbox, and developed Virtua Tennis games, Sega Superstars Tennis, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, Crackdown 3, Team Sonic Racing, and Hood: Outlaws and Legends.
In May of this year, Tencent were reportedly negotiating with a US national security panel to keep their investments in US companies Epic Games and Riot Games. The CFIUS was also handling the sale of TikTok to US companies.
This came after 45th United States President Donald Trump signed an executive order in August last year; banning any US transactions with TikTok owners ByteDance, and WeChat owners Tencent.
While 46th President Joe Biden unleashed several executive orders undoing Trump’s previous orders, it would seem there is still scrutiny over Chinese tech companies. Sumo Group and Tencent are hoping to get approval from the CFIUS before the end of 2021.
Tencent’s portfolio includes ownership of Riot Games, Sumo Digital’s parent company, 80% of Grinding Gear Games, 40% in Epic Games, 29% in Funcom, 5% in Activision Blizzard, 5% in Ubisoft, 5% in Paradox Interactive, a “major investment” in PlatinumGames, a majority stake in Klei Entertainment, a major shareholder for Marvelous, a minority stake in Dontnod Entertainment, and will soon acquire 1C Entertainment.
A German outlet reported from their sources that Tencent sought to acquire Crytek; which may also give them access to the western military simulators the developer makes. In August, Tencent lost almost $60 billion USD in stock value; after Chinese state media’s Economic Information Daily described online games as “spiritual opium.”